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  • New Maxtor 40GB External Drive Uses USB 2.0 Interface

    Reprinted from a Maxtor press release:

    Maxtor Corp.'s new 40GB Personal Storage 3000LE, allows consumers a bigger, faster storage solution without requiring them to open up their computers.

    The world's first 40GB external hard drive with high-speed USB 2.0 interface, according to Maxtor, the 3000LE is targeted to users needing a home for digital video and stills, MP3 files, electronic games and other large files.

    USB 2.0 also delivers up to 40 times faster performance than current generation USB 1.1 hard drives. The drive, which operates at 5,400RPM, is priced at $200.

    Maxtor estimates that the 40GB drive can hold: 40 hours of digital video (MPEG compressed), 40,000 high-resolution digital photos (JPEG compressed), 10,000 four-minute MP3 tunes, 1,000 video games or any combination thereof.

    The 3000LE's high-speed USB 2.0 interface enables instant connectivity with virtually all existing USB ports, including backward compatibility with USB 1.1.

    To upgrade older PCs to USB 2.0 performance, Maxtor will offer a USB 2.0 PCI adapter card ($49.95) featuring four external and one internal high-speed ports.

  • ATI Releases $49 DV WONDER PC FireWire Board

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    With millions of FireWire DV camcorders in use, ATI Technologies hopes to capitalize on those users eager to add FireWire connectability to their PCs. And they're doing so without asking consumers to make a big financial investment.

    For a suggested retail price of $49, ATI Technologies' new DV WONDER FireWire (IEEE 1394) board enables DV camcorder users to transfer digital video on their personal computers. Consumers can perform their own upgrades by fitting DV WONDER into any free desktop computer PCI slot.

    In addition, DV WONDER comes bundled with Ulead's recently-released editing software, VideoStudio 5.0, allowing users to edit digital video on their PCs. DV WONDER also ships with a free connector cable.

    DV WONDER can act as a stand-alone product or as an add-on to complement any ATI Graphics products. With three external FireWire connections, the DV WONDER offers consumers scalability and flexibility. In addition, FireWire ensures the transfer of pure audio signals, video and images to and from all FireWire-enabled digital electronics accessories.

  • Canons Optura100 MC Digital Video and Still Cam Set for Sept. Release

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Incorporating a 1.3 million-pixel CCD image sensor, Canon has thrown its hat into the dual-format ring with the soon-to-be-released Optura100 MC. Performing like two cameras in one, the unit will also deliver 1280x960 high-resolution still images, four times better than the typical 640x480 resolutions most other camcorders offer.

    Canon is also giving the Optura100 MC a vertical design, a different look and feel than its previous Optura models. Aside from a fresh appearance, the new design is styled for single-hand operation.

    Optura 100 MC features will include: 10x optical zoom lens; 200x digital zoom with Optical Image Stabilization that operates in both video and photo modes; built-in Auto Pop-up Flash to illuminate subjects for digital photos, and Extended Recording Mode to deliver four hours of video recording on one 80-minute Mini DV videotape.

    The Optura 100 MC will operate in three shooting modes: Video, Photo and Progressive Photo. The Video mode will, not surprisingly, capture high-quality video. Photo mode will capture excellent still images for TV, e-mail or Web sites. Video and digital photos may be combined on one cassette, and accessed with a photo search feature. Each digital photo will be recorded for about six seconds, along with the ambient audio. More than 700 640x480 images will fit on a single 80-minute Mini DV cassette.

    Progressive Photo mode will capture digital still photos to a removable MultiMedia Card. In this mode, the Optura100 MC will use a shutter that takes advantage of the 1.3 million-pixel CCD image sensor, producing sharp digital photos. Digital stills will be compressed and saved as .jpg files.

    The unit will include one 8MB MultiMedia card, which will hold up to 106 images (640x480, Standard) or 17 images (1280x960, Fine). Higher capacity 16, 32 and 64MB MultiMedia cards will be optionally available.

  • MedioStream Launches neoDVD Digitial Video Software Suite

    Reprinted from a MedioStream press release:

    SAN JOSE, CA MedioStream, Inc. recently announced the release of neoDVD, an innovative suite of digital video software solutions designed specifically for the consumer camcorder user.

    neoDVD sets a new standard for the simplicity and ease of use with which home camcorder users can go from camcorder to disc using one single software solution. The first product in the suite, neoDVDstandard, transforms the home PC into a digital studio for camcorder users to turn any digital video into a DVD-ready file on the fly, making DVD authoring on desktop PCs as easy as audio cassette recording.

    Although digital technology is available to ensure that important captured moments captured can be preserved on DVD with greater clarity and permanence, to get from camcorder to DVD format is not a simple process. Camcorder users need an easy way to covert their video footage into DVD-ready MPEG-2 files, author their DVD footage and share their video.

    neoDVDstandard offers a complete camcorder-to-disc solution that takes the technical process out of DVD authoring by integrating real-time DV to MPEG-2 conversion, DVD authoring and burning into one complete, easy-to-use software package. With a minimum 700MHz Celeron, Pentium III or Athlon system, neoDVDstandard's innovative solution enables camcorder users to capture, edit, compress, author and burn DVD files onto their recordable drives of their home PC in a simple One-Click process, so there is no need to purchase and learn different software and hardware. On a system with 1.1 GHz Pentium III/Athlon or above, neoDVDstandard handles the MPEG-2 encoding and the DVD authoring process in real-time at full D-1 (DVD) resolution and 30-frames-per-second (30-fps) frame rate, so a 60-minute video will take just 60 minutes to be converted into a DVD-ready file, with high quality DVD picture and sound.

  • Microsoft Releases Windows Media Player Specifically for Mac OS X

    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    NEW YORK - July 19, 2001 - Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft Windows Media Player for Mac OS X and demonstrated a prerelease version of the player at the Macworld Conference & Expo in New York. The new player is being designed and "Carbonized" for OS X and will feature the new Aqua interface. Windows Media Player for Mac OS X will be available as a free download this fall, providing users of Mac with the best Windows Media experience on the new OS X operating system.

    The new media player is being developed to meet demand for Windows Media content on the Mac OS X platform with an easy-to-use player for both audio and video. It will support Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the latest industry-leading Windows Media audio and video technology. This will enable users of Mac to enjoy audio and video content with Windows Media and ensure that content providers can encode their content once to reach the broadest possible audience.

    Because Windows Media Player for Mac OS X is being built on Apple's new Carbon APIs, it will run natively in the OS X environment and will take advantage of Mac OS X features like multiprocessing and the Aqua interface, which provides a look consistent with other new Mac applications. The player will come with two additional skins, including a miniplayer skin for simple audio playback.

    Windows Media Player for Mac OS X will support playback of streamed or downloaded files using the latest Windows Media Audio and Video 8 codecs, which provide the highest possible video quality at all bandwidths, CD-quality audio at 64 Kbps and near-CD-quality sound at 48 Kbps. Because Windows Media Audio is twice as efficient as MP3, music fans enjoy shorter download times and can store twice as much music on their hard drives using Windows Media Audio as they can using MP3.

  • Kaydara's New FiLMBOX 3.0 Extends Real-time 3D Authoring

    Reprinted from a Kaydara press release:

    Montral - July 31, 2001 - Kaydara Inc. today announced the availability of FiLMBOX 3.0, the latest release of the company's real-time 3D content authoring and delivery tool. FiLMBOX 3.0 is a key part of Kaydara's strategy to deliver the mixedmedia pipeline, where animation, graphics, audio, and video elements are united in one integrated production workflow, enabling studios to become more productive and cost-effective.

    Kaydara FiLMBOX 3.0 brings real-time mixedmedia authoring capabilities to Apple computers, with support for Mac OS X. This addition to the list of supported operating systems including Windows 2000, Irix, and Red Hat Linux makes FiLMBOX a truly platform-independent hub, and allows high-quality content to be created on any platform of choice, faster, and in greater volume than ever before.

    Enhancements made to FiLMBOX 3.0 include improvements to the Control Sets feature, enabling 3D artists to animate CG characters without having to program complex IK rigs and constraints as is usually required by this type of advanced feature. These character tool enhancements also provide animators with the ability to interactively work with both inverse and forward kinematics, to generate keyframe animation, and easily modify existing motion-capture data.

    FiLMBOX 3.0 also natively supports Kaydara's FBX, a powerful interchange format for 3D data that allows FiLMBOX users to quickly and easily acquire and exchange 3D assets and media from a wide variety of sources. FBX has received industry support from 3D content vendors such as MOTEK, Zygote, Turbo Squid and NewTek, and streaming 3D content vendors such as QEDSoft.

    Pricing and Availability Kaydara FiLMBOX 3.0 is available now at a base price of $US 5,000. FiLMBOX 3.0 supports Microsoft Windows 2000, SGI IRIX, Red Hat Linux, and Apple OS X.

  • Media 100 Enhances Cleaner 5 to Support Newest Versions of Quicktime, RealSystem and Windows Media

    Reprinted from a Media 100 press release:

    NEW YORK---Media 100 Inc. announced a significant upgrade to Cleaner 5, the award-winning media processing software for creating on-demand dynamic streaming media, that ensures support for streaming media output to QuickTime 5, RealSystem 8.5 and Windows Media 8 (Windows Media 7 for Mac), the three major player formats for streaming media on the Internet. The newest version of Cleaner 5 also includes support for the Sorenson Video 3 codec, which enables the delivery of high-quality streaming media for QuickTime. With this announcement, Media 100 is enabling its customers to create high quality streaming media content in multiple formats and at multiple data rates for digital media delivery on the Internet in the latest versions of the three major player formats.

    The newest version of Cleaner 5, version 5.1, provides support for the newly released Sorenson Video 3 codec, both Standard and Pro Editions. With Sorenson Video 3 Pro Edition, Cleaner 5 will continue to provide customers with 2-pass variable bit rate encoding. Sorenson Video 3 has been shown to give users better high-motion video quality than Sorenson Video 2 at less than half of the bit rate and at up to three times the speed.

    Cleaner is the industry-standard tool for adding dynamic, interactive streaming media and for delivery on the Internet, broadband, CD-ROM, kiosks, presentations, and DVD. The application supports all major video, audio, and still image formats, including Apple Computer's QuickTime, RealNetwork's RealSystem, Microsoft's Windows Media Technologies, MP3, MPEG and AVI.

    Cleaner 5, version 5.1, will be available this summer as a free download to current Cleaner 5 customers at Cleaner 5 is available at an MSRP of $599 through select resellers and from the Media 100 Online Store.

  • Media 100 Digital Media Solutions Support Next Generation G4 Macs

    Reprinted from a Media 100 press release:

    NEW YORK--July 18, 2001--Media 100 Inc., a leading provider of digital media design and delivery solutions, today announced that its Media 100 i, an award-winning digital media production solution, and Media 100 ICE solutions, the Company's high performance hardware accelerated effects generation systems, are certified with Apple Computer's new Next Generation G4 Power Mac.

    The high performance 867Mhz system is the first of Apple Computer's line to be approved for use with Media 100 i and Media 100 ICE solutions. This newly-announced platform from Apple provides Media 100 customers with a high-performance interactive streaming media production environment, ideal for creating high quality, dynamic content for delivery on the Internet, DVD or broadcast. The new Apple platform debuted this morning at the Macworld Expo in New York City.

    The Next Generation G4 provides Media 100 customers with a higher performance platform for digital media production. The new dual head graphics option facilitates production workflow and minimizes slot requirements, providing the flexibility that Media 100 users need when customizing their work environment. In addition to approving the 867Mhz G4, Media 100 is currently testing the new 733Mhz and 800Mhz dual platform system and will publish the results at a later date. Media 100 also expects approval for the new dual head graphics option for the dual 800Mhz model.

  • LaCie Announces New High-Performance 48GB PocketDrive

    Reprinted from a LaCie press release:

    MACWORLD NEW YORK CITY (July 18, 2001) LaCie reinforced its lead in the mobile storage market today with two major announcements on its highly successful PocketDrive line. By combining the new FireWire-to-IDE bridge developed by LaCie with high-performance ATA 66 disks, the 10GB, 20GB and 30GB PocketDrives now provide transfer rates of up to 35MB/stwice as fast as traditional FireWire disks. The new 48GB PocketDrive, which is making its debut at LaCie's Macworld Booth #1913 this week, will also achieve transfer rates of up to 35MB/s.

    Measuring only 3.5" x 5.75 x 1" and weighing less than a pound, LaCie's PocketDrives provide Gigabytes of capacity in an exceptionally small form factor. The new 48GB PocketDrive can store more than 20 hours of MPEG-2 video, more than 70 hours of CD-quality audio or a stack of text documents more than half-a-mile high.

    Offering a combination of high capacities, mobility and convenience, the LaCie PocketDrives have quickly become very popular among content developers, illustrators, audio/video professionals and people on-the-go. With both Universal Serial Bus (USB) and FireWire (IEEE 1394) support, or "U&I" (LaCie's acronym and trademark for the dual-support capability), the versatile drives provide users with an easy means of expanding the storage capacity of USB-equipped computers such as Apple iMacs, and iBooks; and FireWire systems such as the Macintosh G4 workstations and G4 Cubes, PowerBooks and the iMacDV systems.

    The FireWire and USB buses make the LaCie PocketDrives hot-pluggable--they mount automatically as soon as they are connected and can be removed or swapped without having to shutdown or reboot the system.

  • Boris Announces Boris GRAFFITI 2.0 Integrated Vector Graphics and 2D/3D Title Application

    Reprinted from a Boris press release:

    NEW YORK - July 18, 2001 - At Macworld today, Boris announced Boris GRAFFITI 2.0, a major upgrade to the company's award winning graphics and titling application. The first company to bring 2D and true 3D compositing into non-linear editing, GRAFFITI 2.0 is the only integrated vector-based titling package on the market. GRAFFITI 2.0's vector tools allow easy creation of sophisticated animations such as text on path, with exceptional sharpness. Along with flexible animation tools such as Type On and Title Containers for auto-animated rolls, crawls, fades, shuffles and zooms, GRAFFITI 2.0 allows users to map text to 3D shapes, and extrude and composite in three dimensions. GRAFFITI 2.0 also supports the addition of third-party Adobe After Effects filters.

    Feature highlights in Boris GRAFFITI 2.0 include: Vector Text provides razor-sharp clarity at any scale, as well as the ability to export animations to .swf (Flash).

    Expanded Title Animation Both the path shape and the text position for Text on Path can be animated over time. "Type On" features one click type-on animation of progressively applied skew, tumble, spin, rotate, scale, opacity, and position to a text page, alone or in combination, so individual characters can easily fly/spin/fade/zoom/shuffle on or off the screen.

    Compositing Tools include 27 Apply modes for each layer in Boris GRAFFITI, motion blur, advanced particle filters, and SmartView to dynamically update views of animated parameters in the timeline.

    Audio Import and Playback Scratch audio track includes timeline waveform display and level controls to enable easier reference and synchronization to audio during effect animation design. Real-time playback of scrub audio and sync audio during Preview to RAM.